2021-04-03 20:56:01 Vaccinated People Can Travel, Says The CDC

Vaccinated People Can Travel, Says The CDC

Vaccinated people can travel safely, according to new CDC guidelines issued on Friday, but they must continue to take COVID-19 safety precautions, such as wearing a mask in public and socially distancing themselves.

The publication of the long-awaited guidelines coincides with an increase in COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States and the start of the summer travel season. In the United States, approximately 56 million people, or 16.9 percent of the total population, are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and 100 million have received at least one vaccine dose.

“With several new studies documenting the real-world effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, we are updating our guidance for fully vaccinated people today,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House COVID-19 briefing on Friday. “People who have been fully vaccinated can resume travel with little risk to themselves.”

“For example, fully vaccinated grandparents can fly to visit their healthy grandchildren without getting a COVID-19 test or self-quarantining, as long as they follow the other recommended prevention measures while traveling,” she added.

However, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, “I would advocate against general travel overall,” she said.

So far, the health agency has provided scant guidance on what activities vaccinated people can safely resume. It issued safety recommendations last month that allow vaccinated people to meet indoors without masks with one other unvaccinated household if they are at low risk of serious illness.

According to the new CDC travel guidelines:

People who have been fully vaccinated can resume domestic travel. They are not required to be tested before or after flying, and they are not required to self-quarantine after travel.
People who have been fully vaccinated should continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling, such as wearing a mask in public, social distancing, and hand washing.
People who are fully vaccinated can travel internationally without getting a COVID-19 test unless the country they are visiting requires it.
Unless required by a state or local jurisdiction, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States.
People who have been fully vaccinated and are traveling to the United States from another country should have a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flights. Three to five days after returning, they should be tested for COVID-19.

In the last week, the CDC released data from healthcare workers indicating that the widely used two-dose vaccines appear to prevent 90 percent of COVID-19 infections, a very effective rate that has increased public health experts’ confidence in the shots. The discovery that the shots prevent asymptomatic cases, which are thought to play a large role in virus spread, has boosted confidence in easing restrictions for vaccinated people.

Two weeks after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, or two weeks after their single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, people are considered fully protected by the vaccines.

Under CDC guidelines, masks are still required on planes, buses, and trains, as well as in airports and other travel hubs.

States across the country are reporting a troubling increase in cases, which Walensky warns could lead to a fourth surge. On Monday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) blamed the rise in cases on a large number of unvaccinated people in the United States, states that rushed to reopen, the spread of more transmissible variants, and increased travel. Other experts are optimistic that as vaccinations become more widely available, particularly among the elderly and other vulnerable populations, an increase in cases will not result in as many hospitalizations or deaths.

“We are in a life-or-death battle with the virus. And the battle against this virus is far from over,” said Jeff Zients, the White House’s chief pandemic officer, on Friday. “Even though we are vaccinating a record number of people, there are many more people who need to be vaccinated, and cases are increasing.”

“We are working as quickly as we can to put this pandemic behind us, but we are not there yet,” he added. As a result, we need everyone to pitch in.”

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Vaccinated People Can Travel, Says The CDC